Music News

Murs and 9th Wonder

Although the "alternative hip-hop" tag is an utter failure as a marketing tool, it actually fits Murs, a performer who embodies much of what's best about the music and very little of what's worst. This L.A. veteran's style is based on hyper-articulate, profanity-free rhymes that are spring-loaded with surprises, and the tradition continues on Murray's Revenge, his latest collaboration with 9th Wonder, the musical force behind the Little Brother collective. During the title cut, for example, Murs interrupts a street narrative to announce, "I want a Shirley Temple because I don't drink Bacardi." Later, "Silly Girl" eschews move-bitch lingo in favor of criticism that's infinitely funnier and more humane: "You need to use your inside voice when you talk to me, 'cause all that raisin' your voice when you're in front of your friends in the car with your cell phone -- that's not hot." Such dialogue may take some getting used to for listeners more accustomed to F-bombers, but those who give it a chance will discover that Murs and 9th Wonder, who'll share the Larimer stage with 1865, provide an excellent alternative.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts